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12 JUNE 2014

REX: independent mobility through hands-free robotic exoskeleton

"Rex Bionics Plc (The Rex Bionics Group) is the global technology leader in robotic exoskeletons (REX). Uniquely, REX® provides independent mobility to wheelchair users and other mobility impaired persons using advanced robotic technology, custom–designed electromechanical actuators, precision engineering, and specialised networking systems.

The key differentiator of REX is the fact that it has been designed from the outset to provide mobility to non–ambulatory wheelchair users rather than as a means to enable otherwise fit individuals to lift supra–physiological loads, enhance endurance or aid mobility of those able to walk with crutches.

The device is designed to enable all users to stand and walk, and REX Personal™ users to scale stairs and navigate slopes."

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ambulatory disability • Aotearoa New Zealandapplied researchartificial limbbionicsbodycyborgdesign for disabilitydisability • electromechanical actuators • engineeringexoskeletonfuturistic machines • hands-free robotic exoskeleton • human body • independent mobility • intimate interfaceskiwi ingenuitylegslocomotionman machinemechanical engineeringmitigating impairmentmobility • mobility aid • mobility impaired • movingnew ways of being • paraplegic • physical engagementphysiologyproduct designprosthesisprosthetic leg • REX • Rex Bionics • Rex Bionics Group • Rex Bionics Plc • Richard Little • Robert Irving • robotic exoskeleton • robotic systemsrobotic technologyrobotics • Sophie Morgan • spinal cord injury • supraphysiological • thoracic vertebrae • walk • walkingwalking machine • wheelchair users

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 NOVEMBER 2013

GoldieBlox uses gender politics to target consumers

"One of the most anti–feminist songs of the 1980s, 'Girls' by the Beastie Boys, is recast as an empowering theme for young women in a new toy ad looking to break gender stereotypes.

The spot is a holiday promotion for GoldieBlox, a construction–themed board game that nearly doubled its Kickstarter goal in 2012. Game developer Debbie Sterling designed GoldieBlox to combine young girls' love of reading and characters with the engineering themes of toys typically more popular with boys, like Legos and erector sets. To that end, the ad features a massive Rube Goldberg scenario, designed by OK Go contraption collaborator Brett Doar. As the machine's workings unravel, the girls sing modified Beastie Boys lyrics: 'It's time to change/We deserve to see a range/'Cause all our toys look just the same/And we would like to use our brains.'"

(David Griner, 19 November 2013, Adweek)

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2012adAdweekBeastie Boys • board game • Brett Doar • contraptionculture of pretty • Debbie Sterling • emotive manipulationempowerment themeengineering • engineering themes • feminist themesgender performance culturegender stereotypesgirl powergirls • GoldieBlox • interactive books • inventive power • Kickstarter • love of reading • magical contraption • OK Go • pink and prettyrepresentation of womenRube Goldberg machinetoy • toy company • young girlyoung women

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 JANUARY 2013

Machines replace humans: heavy metal robot 3-piece

"I'm impressed with Compressorhead – the three–piece robot band (three and a half if you count the little robot who drives one of the cymbals). I went to their website to see if I could discern the origins of the project, DIY, corporate, academic, or whatever and couldn't really find anything on the makers. Then I tracked down the drummer. Stickboy was created by Robocross Machines and a whimsical roboticist named Frank Barnes. ... Reminds me of the Survival Research Labs robot machines, built for public performance and disturbance."

(Maxwell Schnurer, 5 January 2013, Life of refinement)

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3-piece band • AC/DC • Ace of Spades • androidautomateautomationband • Compressorhead • computer controlled musical instrumentcybernetic artcymbals • disturbance • drummereffigyengineering • Frank Barnes • futuristic machinesGermanheavy metalhi-hathumanoid automatonindustrialisationkinetic automatonmachineman machinemechanism • metal band • MIDI • mohawke • Motorhead • musical instrumentplay • public performance • Robocross Machines • robot • robot band • robot machinesroboticrobotic artroboticistsimulationspeculative design • Stickboy • Survival Research Labs • TNT • whimsicalwhimsical interactions

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2012

Design Principles and Practices: a knowledge community

SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES, Japan
Proposals for In–Person Presentations Due: 6 December 2012

"The International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, its associated design journals, the On Design Book Series and the Design News Blog are sites of discussion which explore the meaning and purpose of design. Participants in these forums also speaking in grounded ways about the task of design and the use of designed artifacts and processes. The Conference, Journal, Book Imprint and News Blog support a cross–disciplinary knowledge community, bringing together researchers, teachers and practitioners to discuss the nature and future of design. The resulting conversations weave between the theoretical and the empirical, research and application, market pragmatics and social idealism.

In professional and disciplinary terms, the conference, journals, book series and online media traverse a broad sweep to construct a transdisciplinary dialogue which encompasses the perspectives and practices of: anthropology, architecture, art, artificial intelligence, business, cognitive science, communication studies, computer science, cultural studies, design studies, education, e–learning, engineering, ergonomics, fashion, graphic design, history, information systems, industrial design, industrial engineering, instructional design, interior design, interaction design, interface design, journalism, landscape architecture, law, linguistics and semiotics, management, media and entertainment, psychology, sociology, software engineering, technical communication, telecommunications, urban planning and visual design–to name some of the design disciplines."

(Common Ground)

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2012academic journalanthropologyarchitectureartificial intelligencecognitive scienceCommon Ground (publishing) • communication studies • computer sciencecross-disciplinary knowledge communitycross-disciplinary researchcultural studiesdesign businessdesign disciplinedesign disciplinesdesign educationdesign history • design journals • design managementdesign practitioners • design purpose • design research • design researchers • design studies • design teachers • designed artefacts • e-learningempirical researchengineeringergonomicsfashion designfine artfuture of designgraphic designindustrial designindustrial engineeringinformation systemsinstructional designinteraction designinterface designinterior design • International Conference on Design Principles and Practices • journalismknowledge communitylandscape architecturelawlinguistics • market pragmatics • media and entertainment • professional contextpsychologysemiotics • social idealism • sociologysoftware engineering • technical communication • telecommunications • theoretical research • transdisciplinary dialogue • urban planningvisual design

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2012

The Bruce Lacey Experience: rich and diverse artistic production

"Bruce Lacey (born 1927) is one of Britain's great visionary artists. His lifetime pursuit of eccentric 'making and doing' has been a cathartic working–through of his experiences. This survey of a rich and diverse artistic production is a celebration of both his vibrant life (which includes working with Spike Milligan, The Beatles and Ken Russell) and his art which reveals telling links with the visual culture of the last 60 years. Co–curated by artist Jeremy Deller and art historian Professor David Alan Mellor, the exhibition charts Lacey's artistic development in a career encompassing painting, sculpture, robotised assemblages, theatrical performances and installations, as well as community arts and ritual action performances."

(Camden Arts Centre, 2012)

Fig.1 "Bruce Lacey Final H264 Widescreen 960x540" [Interview for The Bruce Lacey Experience, 7 July 2012 – 16 September 2012, Camden Arts Centre]

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2012animated modelsart exhibitionassemblageautomate • Bruce Lacey • Camden Arts Centrecircuscontraptioncontraptionscybernetic art • David Alan Mellor • deviceeccentric • electric actors • electronic artengineering • George Harrison • ingenuityJeremy Deller • Jill Bruce • Ken Russellkinetic artkinetic automaton • ley line • making and doing • making something happen • New Realism • outrageous stunts • performance career • personal psychotherapy • Peter Sellers • ritual action performance • robotroboticrobotic artrobotised assemblagesRoyal College of ArtSpike MilliganstuntThe Beatles • theatrical performances • UK • variety theatre • visionary artist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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